All systems are go for the grand cultural celebration and Declaration of the Republic and Installation of the President, slated to start at 7:30 tonight.
The cultural celebration features the debut of the newly-reconstructed National Youth Steel Orchestra, which has 100-plus pan players, from ages 8 and older.
Under the musical direction of Lowrey Worrell, the orchestra will play many of the traditional Bajan favourites, as we celebrate the island’s 55th year of Independence and its move to a Parliamentary Republic.
The Steel Orchestra will perform in Independence Square. Then at 8:30 p.m., at National Heroes Square, the creme de la creme of Bajan talent, including Biggie Irie, TC, Edwin, Peter Ram, will perform with a band under the leadership of musical director Dr. Nicholas Brancker.
Around 11 p.m., there will be the official ceremony with the installation of our first President, Her Excellency Dame Sandra Mason. Present will be His Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, who arrived on island last night.
After the President is installed and Barbados is officially declared a Republic at the stroke of midnight, a spectacular fireworks display will go off at three significant locations.
- In Checker Hall, St. Lucy, in honour of the Father of Independence, Errol Walton Barrow, in Bathsheba.
- In Bathsheba, St. Joseph, in honour of our first premier, who introduced Adult Suffrage, Sir Grantley Adams.
- And at East Point, in St. Philip, in honour of our new President, Dame Sandra Mason.
Tonight’s events will be carried live on CBC TV 8, and streamed on all major news and information social media platforms: PMO, BGIS, NCF, VOB, CBC, Barbados Today, The Nation Barbados, and Loop Barbados. Persons can watch this historic occasion from the comfort of their homes.
This may also be viewed from a number of community screens, which have been placed across the island. Those places are Mahaica Playing Field, Speightstown, St. Peter; the Desmond Haynes Sports Complex, Holder’s Hill, St. James; Oistins, Christ Church, and St. Catherine’s Sports and Social Club, St. Philip.
If persons gather to watch the screens, kindly ensure you adhere to all the COVID 19 protocols. Wear your mask, keep your distance and sanitise.